President Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled new, “devastating” sanctions on Russia meant to punish the country for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, calling out Russian President Vladimir Putin for his aggression.
“Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences,” Biden said, laying out a set of sanctions including export controls that will “impose a severe cost on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time.” President Biden said the new sanctions also include four Russian banks and “corrupt billionaires” and their families who are close to the Kremlin. The President also announced a new deployment of ground and air forces to NATO’s eastern flank, even as he reiterated US troops would not engage in direct conflict in Ukraine.
President Biden addressed the nation from the White House East Room, his first appearance in public since the Russian attack commenced late Wednesday. The new sanctions were selected from a menu of options that includes restrictions on financial institutions, bans on technology exports, and blocks targeting members of Putin’s inner circle.
Watch live as I deliver remarks on Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine. https://t.co/fsc84Sq6F6
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 24, 2022
The new sanctions are the latest US reprisals against Moscow this week, and had been reserved as President Biden hoped to maintain some leverage in dissuading Putin from a full-scale invasion. But so far, Western threats of economic punishment, as well as President Biden’s strategy of revealing what the US knew about Putin’s buildup of forces to try to make the Russian leader second-guess himself, have proven ineffective.
Biden on Putin: "He wants to reestablish the Soviet Union. That's what this is about."
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) February 24, 2022
Mindful of rising gas prices in the United States, President Biden said he was working to limit the fallout the new sanctions would have on energy prices. He said the US was ready to release barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve alongside its allies. “I know this is hard and that Americans are already hurting,” the President said. “I’ll do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump.”
'Putin chose this war'.
Joe Biden says that the war on Ukraine will 'leave Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger' and 'freedom will prevail'.https://t.co/LLefhediFp
📺 Sky 501, Virgin 602, Freeview 233 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/jJl1wv94ef
— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 24, 2022
[This is a breaking and continuing story, please check back for updates]